STUDIO TOURS: Jay Fotos

Wed, February 6th, 2008 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
CBR News Team, Editor

"Frank Frazetta's Dark Kingdom, Part One" and "Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer" hardcover on sale in April
Jay Fotos got his start in mainstream comics as a color artist for Todd McFarlane, working on such titles as "Curse of the Spawn," "Spawn: The Dark Ages," "Sam and Twitch' and "Cy-Gor." Educated at New York's prestigious School of Visual Arts and Parson's School of Design, Fotos fully exploded on the comics scene with the startlingly popular "Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer," based on the work of Fotos' hero, Frank Frazetta. The miniseries, which Fotos co-wrote with Joshua Ortega and Nat Jones and co-illustrated with Nat Jones, routinely sold out with each new issue and in multiple printings, and has opened the floodgates for more Frazetta comics overseen by Fotos like "Frank Frazetta's Dark Kingdom, Part One."

CBR News is very grateful for this special look into the Phoenix, Arizona studio of Jay Fotos, which it must be said contains what is plainly the coolest desk we've yet seen in any edition of STUDIO TOURS.

Want to check out "Death Dealer" for free? Our partners at MySpace Comic Books currently have the first chapter of "Death Dealer" online for your reading pleasure. Check it out!

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(1) We'll start off with the steps leading up to my office, I point these steps out because they are my only means of exercise for me because I'm running up and down them 100 times a day (note, the picture only contains 1/2 of actual steps, then turns to the right with another couple steps)...if that really means anything.

(2) On the way up the steps starts what I call "The Fotos Collection." I'm a big art collector and the hallway up the steps is filled from floor to ceiling with art from friends to some choice pieces from artists I admire. I'm pretty proud of the art that I have collected over the years and I still have a closet full of stuff I need to get framed as well.

(3) At the top of the steps we make a right (couple more stairs) then another quick right turn and then you're in my office (you can see the orange color from the hallway on the far left in the photo). Right off the bat you can see the quick contrast of colors (blood red/black). Every room in my house is painted a funky color -- our bedroom is Army green, bathroom is do-do brown, but it works I think. Anyways, back to #3, that is the original art to "30 Days of Night Annual 2005," which Nat Jones was kind enough to give me.

(4) That's a wall sculpt of H.R.Giger's Spell II, very cool piece, I'm a big Giger fan.

(5) That grey thing on my desk is the prototype to the Death Dealer statue/resin kit that will be out shortly. Surrounding that is all my paperwork, scripts, phonebook, phone, desk crap etc.

(6) Yep, my new baby, 30" Apple Studio display, jealous? You should be, it's bad ass! I kid. In front of that we have your standard keyboard, mouse and Wacom tablet.

(7) The big guns, the new Apple G5, internal 1500 gigs, she's packing heat, folks! You can see the other external HD (hard drive) sitting on top of my desk just above it...another 200 gigs.

(8) That the little baby monitor now, only 22", ahhhh, ain't it cute. Standard keyboard, mouse and Wacom tablet in front of that as well.

(9) Signed Giger poster, love Giger!

(10) The ol'work horse, G4, this baby has been around the block with me and she's still truck'n. I produced close to 300 books on that bad boy. She can tell ya a few stories she could, oh yeaaaaaa she could.

(11) Giger Guardian statue, love that piece, solid metal with a Granite base. That shelf is barley holding it up.

(12) Filing cabinet, secret plans are kept in there and I can't say what. In front of that is my new printer (still in the box), I'm waiting to use off my old printer/ink and stomp that thing into the ground once I have, the piece of crap! Oh, and a 11x17 scanner under the old printer.

(13) Jerry Beck original art (I love his art). He's gonna laugh (or cry) when he reads this, but he owed me money so I said do up a Death Dealer piece and we're even. It took'm like a year to do it, but I still love the guy. We do a lot of work together, you just don't see it in the "comic world."

(14) Yes, I have a comic spinner rack in my office. Some people make fun of me because of it, but hey, it's easy access to books instead of lugging boxes around and I got it for like $20 on Ebay.

(15) Printer still in the box.

(16) Boxes of "Death Dealer" books, with three covers for every issue, they add up.

(17) More boxes of comics, prints and promo stuff.

(18) The original "Death Dealer" painting by Frank Frazetta. Nobody knew this until now (due to the fact I needed to get insurance and a wall lock). Last year I visited Frank at his home, we were hanging out and asked me if I wanted to play darts, needless to say we're both pretty competitive. Long story short, the original DD hangs on my office till he pays off his dept.

(18.5) #18, not true, it's a signed #'d print of DD and I paid for it.

(19) Futon/shelf/my dresser, the closet is overflowing onto it.

(20) Now that is the crown jewel of my art collection -- an original Frazetta.

(21) My laundry (clean). My wife and I have keep completely different hours and I shower late at night and rather than wake her up going into my closet in the bedroom, I have this separate stash of cloths to change into.

(22) Original art to "Death Dealer" #2, also one of my favorite pieces.

(23) Did I mention the original Frazetta art?

(24) You don't want to go in there. Floor to ceiling with books, toys, so much crap we'll need another tour to cover that.

(25) This is a print we did to promote the "Death Dealer" series back in '06 at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Frazetta was nice enough to sign a few for us and this is one of them.

(26) Ok, you know when you see a piece of art and you say to yourself "I have to have that!" This is one of those, the original art to "Ashes" #2, one of my favorite comic covers.

(27) The original art to "30 Days of Night: Spreading The Disease" #1. I think it's one of the coolest covers that I ever worked on.

(28) Battery back up for my computer that I have yet hooked up to my computer. Next to that, books, my radio that I listen to "Love Line" every night, love Dr. Drew, no one can replace Corolla and after a year or so Striker is starting to grow on me.

(29) More boxes of comics 'n stuff that I hide behind the door to my office.

(30) The door that hides stuff.

I'm also including a nice "clean" picture of my desk. People freak when they see past all the crap on it and really notice it. This is a solid one piece 8ft long table top with 10 skulls, bones, chains, rivets all over it giving it a look of a giant hunk of wrought iron metal, even though it's MDO board, bondo and model kits of human skulls.

Thanks folks for stopping by and spend all your money on Frazetta Comics!

Thanks very much, Jay!

For more Jay Fotos and Frazetta comics, visit Jay Fotos on his official site and on MySpace.

Now discuss this story in CBR's Image Comics forum.

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